Understanding Possession in Colonial Heights Gun Cases

Understanding possession in Colonial Heights gun cases can be confusing, especially when the type of possession can be either constructive or actual. These differences impact every component of a case, including the potential penalties for a conviction. Because recognizing the types of charges leveled against an accused individual is essential for building a defense, speaking with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney could prove to be vital.

Defining Possession

An individual cannot possess something without knowing that they possess it. Simply put, when it comes to guns—for the purposes of possessing them—an individual must know that it is a firearm. This distinction is essential to understanding possession in Colonial Heights gun cases.

Essentially, actual possession means the object is on the individual’s person, in their hand, in their pocket, or tethered to their body in some way, shape or form. Constructive possession is a lot more complicated. Constructive possession means that an individual exercises dominion and control over the gun with the intent to possess it and the knowledge that it is a firearm.

However, a firearm charge does not have to necessarily involve a firearm. Instead, it might just have to be something that the alleged victim reasonably believes is a firearm. For example, as long as the accusing individual reasonably believed that someone was going to be using a gun against them during a felony offense, then the accused might be found guilty of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Discerning Between Constructive and Actual Possession

If one person has a gun in their hand and is sitting across the table from another, the person holding the firearm has actual possession of the firearm. If that individual then puts the gun on the table and slides it to the middle of the table, at that point, both parties constructively possess the firearm—because they can both exercise dominion and control over it. Essentially, they both have access to it with the intent and knowledge that it is a firearm.

However, if an individual is in the room and does not know that the object in the middle of the table is a firearm, they are not committing an offense. Simply put, actual possession requires intent, while constructive possession requires access and knowledge of a weapon.

How is Ownership Defined?

Possession is not what most people think. When most people think “possession,” they also think ownership. However, ownership and possession are two separate issues. One can own something and not possess it, or they could possess something without owning it. Legally, possession is usually brought up regarding firearm cases. Possession means that the individual either actually has a firearm or they constructively possess one.

Seek Legal Counsel for Help with Understanding Possession in Colonial Heights Gun Cases

Understanding the possession of a firearm can be very difficult due to the complex legal theories involved. Essentially, the difference between constructive and actual possession comes down to intent and knowledge which are both abstract concepts.

However, understanding how these nuances impact a case often takes the knowledge and experience of a well-versed lawyer. Therefore, if you are facing a possession charge, contact an attorney today to receive counsel on how to proceed.